Safe Sleep for Your Baby

About 3,500 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. Most of these deaths result from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation.

Safe to Sleep®

Campaign launched in 1994

Formerly the Back to Sleep campaign

Safe to Sleep® mission:

To educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

The proportion of infants placed on their backs to sleep increased from 27% to 73%.

1993

Graphic: A circle labeled 27% with part of its rim colored to represent the percentage.

2010

Graphic: A circle labeled 73% with part of its rim colored to represent the percentage.

60%

The U.S. SIDS rate dropped more than 60% between 1994 and 2014. However, the rate of infant deaths from other sleep-related causes has increased.

Number of SIDS deaths

Graphic: A bar graph showing 4,073 SIDS deaths in 1994 and 1,545 in 2014.

Number of other sleep-related infant deaths

Graphic: A bar graph showing 903 other sleep-related infant deaths in 1994 and 1,945 in 2014.

Safe Sleep environment

To reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death:

  • Always place baby on his or her back to sleep for all sleep times, including naps.

Graphic: A baby sleeping on his or her back.

  • Room share — keep the baby’s sleep area in the same room, next to your sleep area.

Graphic: A baby sleeping on his or her back in a crib, with the crib next to a bed where an adult is sleeping.

  • Use a firm sleep surface, free from soft objects, toys, blankets, and crib bumpers.

Graphic: A baby sleeping on his or her back in a crib.

Learn more about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death at http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov

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